(HealthDay News) — Nurses spend more than half their time on tasks other than patient care, including communication, and find that the biggest challenge of communication devices is unnecessary interruptions, according to a report published by Voalte.

Researchers surveyed 226 nurse leaders and 287 staff nurses at acute care hospitals to describe their perceptions regarding how nurses communicate, the time spent communicating, and barriers to communication.

According to the report, more than 53 percent of the nursing shift was spent on tasks that don’t involve patient care, including communicating with colleagues (17 percent), charting, and waiting for critical patient information. Nurses reported that the biggest challenge of communication devices was that of unnecessary interruptions. Nurses with only one device experienced fewer communication barriers. In addition, fewer barriers were experienced by nurses with text communication available for use on their unit. Communication barriers were experienced on more shifts for nurses without texting functions. Half of executive-level nurses reported influencing technology decisions of the hospital. Nurses felt that communication devices could potentially improve the quality of care.

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“Nurses at all levels seem to agree that efficient communication is key to increasing the amount of time nurses spend caring for patients and the quality of the care they provide,” the authors write.

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